Sunseap Commercial Assets, a Sunseap subsidiary, will develop and own the 50 MW portfolio. The projects will range from 100 kW to 5 MW in size and will all be backed by long-term PPAs. ING said the agreement is its first financing transaction for rooftop solar in Asia.
The banking group — which has shares listed on exchanges in Amsterdam, Brussels and New York — said that it is usually not economical to finance rooftop PV projects separately, because of their relatively small size. That is why they are mostly funded on a guaranteed basis, it claimed.
“But in this case we have created an innovative structure to finance this portfolio of rooftop solar projects on a limited-recourse basis and in a single loan facility,” said Erwin Maspolim, Asia-Pacific head of utilities, power and renewables for ING. “The financing is expected to help different industries in Singapore – from education to transportation to technology – offset their carbon footprint.”
The bank’s S$50 million loan follows its help in creating a green financing framework for Sunseap. The framework allows the group and its subsidiaries to secure instruments such as green loans and green bonds to back the development of renewables.
“We expect this deal to spark off more demand for green loan principles-compliant loans in the renewable energy sector,” said Herry Cho, head of sustainable finance for Asia-Pacific, ING.
Last November, Sunseap revealed plans to build one of the world’s largest floating PV systems to be installed in saltwater, in the Johor Strait, between Singapore and Malaysia. The city-state of Singapore had installed just 150 MW of solar by the end of 2018, according to recent statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).